Bean-to-bar is the best thing to happen to chocolate! Like artisan food or craft beer it’s a movement based around passion, care, and innovation. In a bean-to-bar establishment like the Wellington Chocolate Factory cocoa beans are made into chocolate all under one roof, with a lot of attention paid to highest quality ingredients and traditional methods. This micro-batch approach uses minimal processing and unlocks a whole new world of potential flavours. Watch this great clip of Gabe, WCF’s co-owner, telling the story of his own chocolate journey:
For me, (Sera, formerly a micro-batch bean-to-bar newbie), I had no idea a cocoa bean actually had a flavour profile! I just thought it tasted like ‘chocolate’, where there was dark chocolate which tastes ‘dark’ or milk chocolate which is creamy. I was astounded to learn cocoa beans from Madagascar have a berry jam/plum flavour and cocoa beans from Peru have flavour notes of apricots and honey. My taste buds have experienced a revelation!
The core flavour is determined by the variety of cacao tree, the soil and sunlight the tree grows in, how the beans are fermented and dried, and how the beans are roasted – not by additives or things like milk extracts. There’s something wondrous and satisfying in picking a bar off the shelf and knowing it was all made in one place, using only cocoa and sugar, with beans from a specific plantation.
The bean-to-bar movement is also about ethical practice across the whole supply chain, and establishing meaningful relationships with cocoa farmers. These relationships are based on mutual respect and understanding, real effort goes into effective communication and building the relationship so both businesses grow.
It’s a great way to make chocolate; it’s a great way to eat chocolate!